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China sees record flooding in Beijing, with 20 deaths and mass destruction blamed on Typhoon Doksuri

Climate change boosts risk of extreme weather
Climate change elevating risk of dangerous weather 04:31

Beijing — The remnants of Typhoon Doksuri finally moved out of China's enormous capital city Wednesday, but the storm left 20 people dead in its wake after four days of record rainfall inundated parts of Beijing with floodwater. The Beijing Meteorological Bureau said 29.3 inches of rain had inundated the capital region between Saturday and Wednesday — the most ever recorded since recordkeeping began during the Qing dynasty in 1883.

About 1 million residents were evacuated amid the flooding across Beijing and neighboring parts of northern China, and the storm has left widespread damage.

Paramilitary police vehicle wades through floodwaters in Beijing
A paramilitary police vehicle drives through floodwater after remnants of Typhoon Doksuri brought record rainfall and flooding in Beijing, China, August 2, 2023. TINGSHU WANG/REUTERS

The floodwaters had receded Wednesday in Beijing's hard-hit suburbs, but social media videos showed tons of trash and leftover mud and debris covering streets.

A train carrying about 900 people from Inner Mongolia to the capital got stuck in the outskirts of the city due to the flooding, prompting about 300 of the passengers to get off and walk for hours in the middle of the night to reach Beijing.

Rescue teams arrived in a town in Hebei province, which borders Beijing, to rescue hundreds of people who were trapped in their buildings when the lower floors of residential apartment blocks were inundated, according to state media. Residents said the water rose as high as 13 feet in some areas.

Aftermath of Typhoon Doksuri in Beijing
A man cleans up in front of a store after the remnants of Typhoon Doksuri brought record rainfall and flooding in Beijing, China, August 2, 2023. TINGSHU WANG/REUTERS

President Xi Jinping called for "every effort" to rescue those "lost or trapped" by the storm, and China's agriculture ministry said it would allocate $60 million in flood relief funding to support the agriculture sector in the region.

While the capital region caught a breath and started the process of digging out, what's left of Doksuri continued making its way north with heavy rain starting to fall Wednesday in the northeast Heilongjiang province.

Meanwhile, Khanun, the third typhoon to hit East Asia this season, was already forcing evacuations and disrupting power supplies on the Japanese island of Okinawa. The storm was forecast to hit China's shores later in the week.

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